The 2008 Best Small Firms to Work For: An Overview

The consultants have spoken. And this, our eighth annual Best Firms to Work For list, is the result. Here, we reveal the very best consulting firms to work for, according to you, the consultants who actually work for them. For an eight-week period in May and June, we asked you to tell us all about your firm and what it’s like to work there. We asked for your feedback about your consultancy in six distinct areas—Career Development, Compensation and Benefits, Culture, Work/Life Balance, The Job and Leadership. We collected those responses and measured them against your peers. The result is two lists, the Best Firms to Work For and the Best Small Firms to Work For.

Small firms, of course, face their own unique set of challenges. However, for the purposes of our report, we didn’t want two different surveys. All firms took the survey and were judged on the exact same criteria. But after all the data was collected, we had to come up with a universally accepted definition of a “small firm.” This was no easy task. Our analysts went to work to determine what constitutes a small vs. a large firm. In the end, we opted to rely on the data itself. We looked all 13,000 survey participants and determined the median firm size was about 350 billable consultants. So, that’s where we draw the line—any firm with fewer than 350 billable consultants is a small firm.

Since we had never included small firms before, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Overall, the final scores were higher for the smaller firms. On one hand, this makes complete sense: It’s probably easier to have a healthier culture, work/life balance and job satisfaction at a smaller firm. On the other hand, it could be counterintuitive; smaller firms don’t have the resources to offer the same compensation, benefits and career development opportunities as other firms. We did discover that the discrepancies in some of those areas isn’t as great as one might think, but you’ll have to take a look and judge for yourself. Best Small Firms to Work For begins here.

The 2008 Best Small Firms to Work For are…